VMware SRM NetAPP SRA required user permissions

While setting up VMware SRM for a customer lately with a NetAPP filer, I have faced the challenge where the customer wanted to use the minimum required permissions for the user the Solution Replication Adapter (SRA) use to connect to the NetApp filer. At minimum the customer wanted to use a different account from root to be able to audit which user has carried out the changes. After doing my research, I have found out the below three ways to create users to be used by the NetApp SRA.

1- Use the NetApp Root user, if this does not violate your security policy then this is the easiest route as you will have to change nothing on the NetApp Filer. For a secure  environments, I would recommend trying one of the below two methods.

2- Add a new user to the NetApp Administrator group,  This seems to be the most commonly used as it is an easy way of doing it while allowing you to audit the filer activities. You will be able to distinguish which actions were invoked by SRM from ones that were invoked by the root account. Use the below commands at your NetApp console to create a new NetApp Administrator to use for your SRM SRA:

useradmin user add SrmUser -g Administrators

Or if you want to use a domain user (Assuming your NetApp Filer was configured with Domain Authentication)

useradmin domainuser add DOMAIN\SrmUser -g Administrators

3- Creating a specific permission role and add your SrmUser to it, While method 2 documented above allow you to create a distinguished admin to be used with the SRM SRA you will be granting that user unrestricted access to the NetApp Filer, where if you wanted to restrict the SRA to only the minimum required permissions you will need to follow the below steps:

a.… Read More

Backup & Archive to the Cloud with PHD Virtual Backup 6.5

PHD Virtual has approached me for feedback on their upcoming PHD Virtual Backup 6.5. I have been granted access to an early beta version of the product to try it out, while they have added many enhancement to the product, the one that have got my attention the most is being able to send your backup or Archive directly to the Cloud.  As I have not tried their backup to the Cloud feature which was released in 6.2, I have decided to test out combined with their new backup archiving to the Cloud feature to be introduced in PHD Virtual Backup 6.5.

With many Storage Cloud Services out there & many more expected to surface in upcoming few months, this backing up & in particular archiving could become of high demand. Further, as many of the Storage Cloud Services offers a price per GB that is very hard to beat with in-house  storage, the solution will become attractive from cost perspective. As most things in the market today, the bigger bulk you buy of a certain item, the less you have to pay per item. This explain why Costco & Walmart(Mega Stores in general) for example can offer cheaper prices than smaller super markets.… Read More

Top 5 Veeam Backup & Replication V7 Innovations

For the past couple months, I have been following the features announcements of Veeam Backup & Replications V7 as they were introducing their innovation by every feature they announced during the count down. Before I get asked, Veeam has not yet announced general availability of Veeam Backup & Replication V7 but it should be pretty soon as on my last discussion with them which was posted at: http://www.virtualizationteam.com/veeam/veeam-backup-replication/vcloud-director-backup-by-veeam.html they mentioned it should be released in Q3, 2013. I heard as well that private beta is already being conducted, so hit them up if interested. Below is a review of the top 5 upcoming features(from my perspective) including videos:

1- Enhanced Backup & Recovery for vCloud Director

Actually this was the focus of my last post on Veeam Backup & Replication V7 at: http://www.virtualizationteam.com/veeam/veeam-backup-replication/vcloud-director-backup-by-veeam.html. As most of you know that I work with vCloud Director almost on daily basis, & always looking for solutions that integrate well with it from backup & disaster recovery perspective as the question about backup & recovery of VMs living within vCloud Director has almost been a part of every engagement & it is nice to see greater integration coming up from backup vendors by day, & glad to see Veeam is taking it to the next level with V7.… Read More

PHD Virtual ReliableDR is SLA focused

I have just been shown a demo by PHD Virtual of their latest version of ReliableDR, & the first thing I have noticed as the title stated that it is fully business SLAs focused. With the shift today to models like ITaas & IaaS where the availability of the full application from a business perspective is becoming more critical each day, more organizations will be looking for solutions that ensure they are meeting these SLAs. ReliableDR does a great job at this, as it does not only allow a user to configure protection groups based on your business SLAs from a Disaster recovery perspective, but will do the auditing of these SLAs (RPO/RTO) for you.

I have seen it mentioned that you can now test/audit your DR –  RPO/RTO on hourly basis, which I believe might be achievable for a few critical applications.  But, I believe the more realistic approach will be testing/auditing the majority of VMs in a large scale environment on daily/weekly basis. We need to give PHD Virtual credit for creating a solution that can automate the testing of your DR – RPO/RTO without any required user interaction after being setup. They are not just helping you cut the huge cost associated with the labor of carrying regular DR testing and all the long hours and downtime required for it, but they even provide detailed reporting on what SLAs you will be meeting & which ones you will fail to meet based on real testing data specific to your environment.… Read More

vCloud Director backup by Veeam

Backing up vCloud Director environment has been one of those hot topics lately, as not many backup vendors have mastered it yet. All the big players in town are promising a fully integrated solution by this year end, but we still to see a fully integrated solution. I believe within the next 6 months, we will have most major backup vendors offering different vCD backup solutions with varying integration levels.

Veeam has offered support for backing up vCD VMs, but not vAPPs & vCD metadata in the current release but this seems to change soon. Veeam seems to lead the league by planning to deliver the first real vCD backup that is fully integrated pretty soon with private betas even closer. It got me quite interested that I have setup an exclusive interview with Rick Vanover (product strategy specialist for Veeam Software)  to get my readers the answers on what is Veeam will be really offering in their upcoming Veeam 7(Which is a lot to be excited about?). I don’t want to keep you any longer, below is the full interview questions that Rick was kind enough to share the answer with me.

Q: At what level is your vCD Backup working?Read More

PHD Virtual Backup version 6.1 Enhancements

phd Virtual Backup v6.1Its interesting how fast is the virtual backup space is developing these days. PHD Virtual Backup version 6.0 which was released back at the end of August less than 3 months ago had many amazing features added to it at that time, which I have reviewed in an earlier post at: PHD Virtual Backup version 6.0 is here. Just a quick reminder of a few of these:

  1. Application Aware Backups
  2. Encryption
  3. Instant VM Recovery (Give you an amazing RTO)
  4. Backup Testing / Verification

No worry, I am not here to repeat my earlier post about PHD Virtual Backup version 6.0 but as the title say I am going to cover the new features in PHD Virtual Backup v6.1 which should go GA in few days. Oh yeah although when you hear v6.1 you would think its a minor update with few bug fixes specially it hit us less than three months of version 6.0 being released(at least I thought that way at first), but to my surprise it had included major enhancements and even few more features that are no less useful than the ones they introduced in version 6.0. Let’s take a look to what new features PHD Virtual has brought with this new release:

1- Instant VM Recovery for Full/Incremental Backup Mode.… Read More

EMC VPLEX – vSphere 5.1 Stretched Cluster Best Practices

The demand for across site VMotion and High Availability/Business continuity has shown an increase in the past year or so. I have started to see more customers implementing/considering such solution. I remember when VMware added support for vSphere stretched clusters about a year back, where only EMC VPLEX was on the Hardware Compatibility list. Actually EMC has done a massive amount of work with VMware to verify the solution and make sure it pickup. Guess what, it did not take long for other storage vendors to see how quickly vSphere Stretched Cluster is picking up & now both NetApp & IBM have a configuration that is supported in a stretched cluster configuration.

In this post I will be discussing many of the best practices that you want to follow when building a vSphere Stretched Cluster. While many of these recommendation are generic and apply to most vSphere 5.1 Stretched Clusters, I have only validated them in an EMC VPLEX environment. Please make sure you check with your storage vendor before applying those recommendations to a different environment.

Before starting to implement a vSphere Stretched Cluster, you would want to understand how it work and what enable it. What you are trying to achieve in here is to enable VMware HA & VMware VMotion to work across sites.… Read More

Dell AppAssure Universal Backup

Dell AppAssure was the winner of the 2012 Virtualization Review VMworld Best of Breed Awards as the Best Backup and Data Protection Product, which got me thinking what is so special about it. Further, if AppAssure did not have anything special about them Dell would not have enough to reason to happily acquire them back in February. After all those news about AppAssure and my personal interest in storage/backup & recovery arenas I have decided to try it out.

After trying it out for a bit in my lab & reading more about it, I have found the below three features about Dell AppAssure to be the most exciting ones :

1- Backup from any where & restore to any where or as I would like to call it Universal Backup. It was really interesting to know that Dell AppAssure can take virtual machines(VMware, Hyper-V, Citrix) & Physical machine backup and restore it to any desired target. For example you can backup a VM on Hyper-V then restore it to a VMware environment or backup a physical machine the restore it to a VM on any desire hypervisor or to a different physical machine even if it has a different hardware.… Read More

Veeam Innovating again with Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5

Veeam has always got me thrilled by how innovative they are when it come to virtual infrastructure backup & replication solutions. Every time they release a product, I think alright they have left nothing to surprise us with next release but each time they prove me wrong and here they do it again with Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5. Their new release make it sound that all the amazing backup features they had in earlier releases were not enough. Below just few of their earlier releases features that were amazingly valuable, but were not enough to stop Veeam from innovating more features:

– Instant VM Recovery: It gave Veeam’s customers the ability to power on VMs from backup directly without needing to wait to restore them. This has cut recovering VMs from hours to minutes.

– U-AIR® (Universal Application-Item Recovery): Recover individual objects from ANY virtualized application without agents, additional backups or software tools.

– On-Demand Sandbox: Run VMs from a backup in an isolated Virtual Lab for testing or troubleshooting.

Universal File-Level Recovery: Recover a file from any guest OS and file system directly from an image-level backup—without booting the VM. vPower extends Veeam Instant File-Level Recovery with support for ANY guest file system.… Read More

PHD Virtual Backup version 6.0 is here

By the time this article is published, PHD Virtual Backup version 6.0 has been announced. There were a few features that impressed me and thought I would try it out and see how well it performs in my lab.

I will start covering the features from the least exciting to the most fascinating feature to keep you reading to the end of the post. Yeah! You heard it right they have come up with some fascinating features that worth checking out at VMworld 2012.

PHDVB v6.0 Top Feature #5: PHD Virtual Backup is Easy to install

Many of the fantastic backup solutions out there are so tough to setup, PHDVirtual is not one of them. They have made it even easier to deploy by delivering it as a virtual appliance. Installing PHD Virtual Backup is nothing but a simple 6 step process as illustrated below:

1. Download PHD Virtual Backup v6 here, then Install the PHD Virtual Backup Console and Plug-In by double-clicking the installation executable.

2. When the installation wizard completes, deploy the PHD Virtual Backup VBA by deploying the appliance OVF.

3. When deployment completes, make sure the VBA has an IP address then connect to the PHD Virtual Backup Console by right-clicking the VBA VM and selecting

PHD Virtual Backup > Console.… Read More

VMware vSphere Backup Solution for the SMB

Most enterprise have already spent tons of money on their enterprise backup solutions before adopting Virtualization, and were more likely to adapt the same backup solution after adopting Virtualization as long their backup vendor offer Virtualization integrated solution that fits their needs to save on cost. On the other hand, a large portion of small businesses were using the default backup tools that was originally shipped with their OS which made backing up virtualized environment a new challenge to them and a question they keep coming up with is “what backup solution should we look at that can fit our Virtual Infrastructure backup needs without costing us an arm and leg?”. Although many Virtualization Backup Solutions are out there, I have chosen the below three solutions as I have the most exposure to as well seeing them quite often with a good feedback in the field.

Before going over what each of these solutions has to offer, you might want to educate your self about the 7 Myths that often confuse people during choosing the solution for backup & replication of their Virtual environment by reading the paper by vExpert Eric Siebert 7 Myths about Backup & DR in Virtual Environments White Paper.… Read More

PHD Virtual backup & replication for vSphere installation and configuration

As I have spent sometime evaluating PHD Virtual Backup & Replication for vSphere to post the review on my Backup & Disaster Recovery blog TSMGuru Blog, I have went through the installation process and thought I may as well share them on here for people trying to install or just test PHD Virtual Backup & Replication for vSphere v5.3.1. On here, I will be showing how to quickly get up and running with PHD Virtual Backup & Replication, though if you want to read my review of it before testing it your self you can find it at: PHD Virtual Backup and Replication for VMware vSphere Review

Being distributed as a virtual appliance actually speed up the implementation of PHD Virtual Backup & replication for vSphere. Below is a summary of the steps you need to follow to initially install and configure PHD Virtual Backup & Replication v5.3:

1- Download the PHDVirtual backup software from http://www.phdvirtual.com/trial-vmware-5

2- Extract the PHDVB_5_3_1_VMware.zip to any folder

The PHD Virtual Backup installation package contains:

  • PHDVB_Install.exe: The PHD Virtual Backup installation file to install the plug-in and PHD Virtual Backup Console.
  • PHDVBA.ovf: The PHD Virtual Backup Appliance OVF.
  • PHDVB_Exporter_Install.exe: The PHD Virtual Backup Exporter installation file to install the PHD Exporter Console.
Read More

Veeam Christmas gift to VCPs – vExperts – VCIs – MVPs – MCP

FREE VEEAM BACKUP & REPLICATION v6 LICENSES FOR YOUR LAB IS VEEAM CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR GIFT TO MANY OF US. If you are VMware vExperts, VMware Certified Professionals, VMware Certified Instructors, VMUG members, Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, and Microsoft Certified Professionals, then you should check the instructions below to obtain your free NFR copy of Veeam Backup & Replication. Veeam Backup & Replication is such a great backup & replication product with many outstanding features and would be a great fun to own it for free for your lab. Actually I am planning to use my free NFR copy to automate the backup and restore of my home lab, so what are you waiting for go and get yours while they are free!!!

Below are few of the fantastic features that Veeam Backup & Replication offer and could encourage you to obtain your free copy. I still to see a similar capability with any other backup solution for Virtual Infrastructure:

Instant VM Recovery

Run a VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file on regular backup storage. This eliminates the need to extract the backup and copy it to production storage.
Watch feature demo >>

U-AIR (Universal Application-Item Recovery)

Recover individual objects from ANY virtualized application without the use of additional agents, backups or software tools.

Read More

VMware Site Recovery Manager Licensing FAQs

Lately many questions about VMware Site Recovery Manager Licensing has been raising up specially ones related to VMware vSphere Essential, vSphere Essential Plus, and other acceleration kits. Getting answer to these were always a hassle to find till I found this magical document with answers to many of these. You can find the document  at: Site Recovery Manager Pricing Licensing FAQ – Q409.pdf

I have decided to post the questions & answers of this document on my blog due to their importance & the huge demand for them, where this document is not well indexed online & quite hard to find. You can download the document above & use it offline, or look online below for the answer you require (The documents have points I have not included as they seemed well-known to me):

Q: Is Site Recovery Manager included with VMware vSphere?

A: Site Recovery Manager is not included as part of any VMware vSphere editions. Note that Site Recovery Manager does require a supported version of VMware vSphere or VMware Infrastructure.

Q: Will customers receive Site Recovery Manager as part of their Support & Subscription for VMware vSphere or VMware Infrastructure?

A: No, Site Recovery Manager requires an additional purchase.… Read More

Testing Veeam Backup & Replication Replica Testing Procedure

Veeam Backup & replication is one of my personal favorite DR solution for VMware, specially when SAN replication is not an option. Though just as with any other backup or Disaster Recovery solution you will have to test your backup or disaster recovery plan regularly. As Veeam Backup & Replication does not include a button for testing the DR, many people don’t test their DR or get to restart the full replication over & over again after every DR test. For that I have decided to document my Veeam Replica test procedure & share it with you to save you the time & ensure you can test your DR as often as you like without affecting your production or replication.

Testing replica with Veeam Procedure:

1. Temporarily Disable Veam Replication job

Veeam Replication Disable Replication Job

2. Create a snapshot of the replica using VMware vSphere Client. This will be used to revert the replica VMDK to its original state after the DR test being completed.

Veeam Backup Take snapshot of the replicaVMware vSphere give the replica snapshot a name

3. Change the replica VM network Configuration from being connected to production port group to an isolated test network.

VMware ESX 4 edit the virtual machine settings to change the network of the VMVMware ESX 4 connect the virtual machine network adapter to isolated network

4.  Power on the replica Virtual Machine & test if it work properly.

5.  Shutdown the replica Virtual Machine.

6. Revert back the replica virtual machine to the snapshot you have took at step 2.… Read More